The fact that we have airline reservations one week from today does not mean that I am ready to leave Costa Rica. I would like to stay right here, where I feel quite comfortable and life is on a whole new (and lower) stress level. One thing that I noticed is that my husband is sleeping much better because, he says, his reconnection with his family and the familiar surroundings of Puntarenas has made him feel younger and more optimistic. This will pass somewhat, of course, as we proceed with our interest in his grandson's education and the help that we have promised to some of his friends through the English-speaking Internet.
His former in-laws have a home-based business that consists of decorating and embellishing paper goods. If you have ever seen the little goodie bags at a wedding, filled with monogrammed M & M's or candy-covered almonds, you know what they look like. These ladies can also make notebooks, scrapbooks, greeting cards and many more things. However, what they need is equipment.
The equipment used to make many such products is often manufactured and sold in the U. S. or Europe. Consequently they are frequently priced on the level of Americans, for example, who can afford them. The main machine that my relatives use cost them a thousand American dollars. And now they are faced with competition in the form of others who may have the new model of this machine--called a Cricut--that has more functions.
In the Third World, small home-based businesses make the difference between whether you can continue to live in your house, or whether you might lose it. This has struck Americans recently, with the Wall Street crash. Many families in Arizona now live in shelters--the Silicon Valley crash is now a way of life across our country, because of Republicans who call themselves Christians but would prefer to see you and me in shelters, homeless, rather than contribute to any improvement in our lives as long as Barack Obama is president. The unbelievable shame of this situation--total non-cooperation in Congress, which is not gridlock--continues to appall me.
This is cold-blooded murder. Republicans are the hit men who curtailed the state budget of Arizona to the extent that Governor Jan Brewer thought it an acceptable option to defund the medical transplant program. Two Arizonans have died so far, that I know of, at her hands. She is responsible for those deaths. Republicans are responsible for those deaths.
When I became deathly ill six years ago in Tucson, I was treated and my life was saved, but the bill for that treatment was astronomical. A health insurance company made big bucks on it, although my husband later told me matter-of-factly that I would have been given the same treatment under the national health program of Peru, his birthplace, without being expected to pay through insurance.
Costa Rica has their La Caja, the program that you buy into to cover medical care under a single-payer program. The only reason that such a program--usually referred to as Medicare for All--is not in place for Americans is because the corporations that make huge profits on health insurance will not allow their purchased congressmen to pass such a law. If you fall ill in Tucson, as I did, and you have no insurance--perhaps are unemployed--Republicans will tell you that it is your own fault, and you should have had a job and you should have had health insurance and you ought to be able to pay your own bills.
Consider the situation when Theresa Heinz Kerry fell ill earlier this year. She is the wife of the Secretary of State John Kerry, and as such she has the finest health care that money can buy. The two of them had nothing to worry about other than getting her well. How nice for them--I had a hospital bill well over a quarter of a million dollars.
I do not begrudge health care to anyone; it's just the opposite. I want a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system for the United States. What I object to is haves and have-nots in our health-care system, with no rhyme, reason or relationship to merit or even that they are American citizens just like the Kerrys.
The Costa Rican health-care system is very similar to Social Security; you pay in monthly, and if the necessity arises you collect on this "account" when you receive needed health care. It makes complete sense. Why are Americans not doing this--because we are a broke nation? Only if your priorities are tax breaks and corporate profits.
America is the richest nation in the world--something that is not lost on the Koch Brothers and others like them who are emptying out our Treasury as fast as members of Congress can sign their checks. This has to stop.
This has to stop.